Police prepare for an assault on cartel in Guerrero. Police prepare for an assault on cartel in Guerrero.

3,000 community police set to take on Guerrero cartel

The cartel is believed responsible for an ambush that killed three soldiers in September

Guerrero community police are preparing an operation against the Cartel del Sur, a criminal organization believed responsible for an attack on the army on September 26 that left three soldiers dead in the town of Balzamar in the municipality of Felipe Bravo.

Two houses owned by gang leader Isaac Navarrete, also known as “El Señor de la I,” are located 200 meters away from where the attack took place.

According to Salvador Alanís, a spokesman for community police in Filo de Caballos, the attack occurred while soldiers were destroying poppy fields in Balzamar.

“According to the information we have, it happened in the town of Balzamar, just behind where the leader has his safe houses,” Alanís told the newspaper Milenio. “It seems like he was in the house with his security team when the soldiers started coming to destroy the poppies, and that’s when the shooting started.”

With a shotgun in his hand, Alanís said that community police have been preparing an advance into territory held by the cartel but their plans were delayed by the September 26 incident.

Cartel del Sur boss Navarrete.
Cartel del Sur boss Navarrete.

“We have everything prepared for an incursion into their territory, into the 24 communities that they control, but after what happened with the soldiers, there’s a lot of presence of the army, navy and state police,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to make an advance now, but it’s something we’re planning. We need to get rid of this criminal group to pacify the Sierra.”

The community police have set up at least five roadblocks guarded by gunmen near Chilpancingo, and others in other communities such as Tlacotepec.

“We haven’t caused any problems for the army,” said Alanís. “A battalion came to Tlacotepec and then the spread out in all the communities, we’re not opposed to that . . . we’re going to continue advancing; we consider ourselves allies of the government, and we hope we can recover trust [in the government] to be able to put down our arms.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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